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The electronic Game has become an important tool in the teaching process because it may offer several didactic advantages:

  • helps teachers to engage and motivate children;
  • develops cognitive, spatial and motor skills;
  • allows children to study in an environment in which they can do the tests, make mistakes and learn through interaction with the game environment;
  • can contain practical examples of concepts and rules that would be difficult to explain in the class;
  • allows teacher to organize autonomous work of students, to do practical tests, etc..
Using the electronic Game does not replace the traditional lecture, but it provides an additional way to reach out to students and allows them to understand complicated topics.
Several studies have identified the characteristics that the Game must have to be used successfully. Among these the most significant are:
  • The interface is clear and easy to use with attractive graphics;
  • The scenery is fun and oriented on well-defined educational objectives;
  • Possible to adapt the execution of the game (speed, time, etc.) to the personal needs of children;
  • The educational content is customizable for subject areas, the age range and language of students;
  • The visibility of the player progress, score, time elapsed, etc.;
  • Possibility of tracking, evaluation and analysis of results of students;
  • Compliance with SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) to make it usable with various LMS (Learning Management System)
  • The possibility of publishing and sharing with the community of teachers and students, etc..
Evidently this is a great issue for a manufacturer of educational games to comply at least part of the required characteristics.

Teach through Game

The project Umaigra (UI) is an attempt to find a viable response on the issue of creation and use of the electronic Game with required characteristics. It is based on the vision of teaching through the Game as a process consisting of the following stages:

A. educational content preparation, creation and publication of the Game,
B. Game presentation to students in the form of one or more assignments,
C. execution of assignments by students through one or more attempts,
D. monitoring of progress of individual pupils or whole groups, report printing and data export,
E. analysis of results, identification of comprehension difficulties and return to the A stage .

Teaching cycle through the Game
Teacher's Interface versions UI is realized as a web application that implements all stages mentioned above. It consists of two major subsystems: UI Editor and Learning.

UI Editor provides support to the A stage. It offers an editing tool for the Game creating from prepared templates for different subject areas, languages, age of students and types of tests. The resulting game is in compliance with standard SCORM SCO (Shared Content Object) which makes it potentially be used in an LMS of third parties.

UI Learning is intended for the next stages (from B to E) and represents a special LMS for usage of the Game created on the A stage .
Presented through two separate application interfaces for Teachers and Students.
The Teacher interface allows you to prepare different assignments based on the games, to deliver them to the students, to view and analyze the results of students, to export data and to communicate with students and other teachers (B, D and E stages).
The Student interface (UI Player) is designed as a game and arranges the accessing and execution of assignments by student (C stage). It displays the personal results and ranking of student, allows him to accumulate points.
The UI Learning subsystem is available in two different versions based on number of participants.
The current UI Class version is intended for a small group of students and one teacher (or parent).
The UI School version allows one or more teachers to manage the teaching of many students by organizing them into classes.
The release of the UI School version is scheduled later.

UI Editor allows you to create a game in a few steps without requiring any programming knowledge. The greater part of the work is the preparation and insertion of educational content that includes texts and images.

1 step "Accessing the System" . Teacher activates the link "Sign in as Teacher" in the Home page, enters the application, selects the "Editor" option and does the registration in the system (or does log in if is already registered). The UI Editor registration is free.
2 step "Find Template" . Registered user finds and selects a template of game suited to the needs and educational objectives (subject areas, age of students, types of exercises, etc..). With a click creates the game ready to be populated with educational content.
3 step "Editing Game". The user inserts the educational content organized in the form of levels with practical exercises and theoretical overview pages. The user adds the data identifying the game (title, subject areas, language, content, goals, etc..). This step may be activated by user many times until the game is completed.

To make it even easier, UI Editor provides several additional tools: step by step support in the game creating, multimedia resources managing, the automatic generation of exercises, the organization of informational materials, etc..

At the end of game creation the user publishes it to share with other teachers and students. They can find the game in the Games page of the site.
In order to facilitate the diffusion of the game the user can export the URL of the game (banner) to some internet resource of third parties (blogs, personal homepages, etc.).
Registered users can evaluate games created by colleagues entering their comments and vote.

Create Game with UI Editor

Use Game with UI Class

UI Class organizes the entire process of teaching through Game. UI Class includes all UI Editor features and has the new UI Player component to run games as assignments. In general the use of the UI Class consists of the following phases:

1."System Access". Teacher activates the link "Login as Teacher" in the Home page, enters the application, selects the "Class" option and does the registration in the system (or does log in if is already registered). The UI Class registration is free.
2."Creation of the group of students". Teacher registers a group of students - participants, each with their own account.
3."Creating of assignments". Teacher creates vary assignments based on own educational games, or of other authors, sets times and order of its execution. Teacher delivers assignments to the group of students.
4."Running of assignments". Students use their account to access UI Player via the "Login as Student" link and perform the assignments of the teacher. Students accumulate points and prizes and participate in the ratings.
5."Monitoring of results". Teacher analyzes the progress of students, identify learning problems and therefore can make corrections needed to overcome them.

Moreover UI Class offers various additional tools, some of them are: a customizable system of tags to assignments, data presentation in a bar graph, print and export of data tables, display of answers on individual exercises, etc.

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